BOSTON and NEW YORK, Feb. 11 Eight-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce joined the nationwide fight to combat childhood obesity today as a National Athlete Spokesperson for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Pierce will work with the Alliance's empowerME Kids' Movement to encourage kids in Boston and across the country to eat healthier, move more and be leaders in the fight against childhood obesity. The Alliance will also leverage Pierce's star power to encourage teens and tweens to join the more than 2.2 million young people who have already made a commitment to the Movement at www.empowerME2b.org.
"The childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. impacts nearly one in three children between the ages of 9 and 17, and young people are having health problems, such as type-2 diabetes, that we previously had only seen in adults," said President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the co-lead in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation along with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and American Heart Association President Clyde Yancy. "Paul Pierce, and other athletes and national figures, are integral to our efforts to address this epidemic and inspire kids to eat healthy, stay active, and make healthier lifestyle choices."
"I struggled with my own weight as a young man, and I have seen my family, friends and community struggle with not having enough opportunities to eat well and engage in physical activity," said Pierce. "Staying active and eating well has been a huge part of my success and I think it is critical that kids everywhere understand how important exercise and nutrition are to a happy, successful life."
The Boston Celtics Captain's new role as National Athlete Spokesperson for the Alliance complements a collaboration between the Alliance and Pierce's The Truth on Health Campaign announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in fall of 2009. The two organizations are working together to share resources and information about good nutrition online, create fun and informative videos for kids, develop monthly activity challenges from Paul Pierce, and provide incentive rewards for staying active.
Pierce will also work with the Alliance on the development of videos and activities to be used as resources for the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program, which supports more than 7,800 schools across the United States, including more than 95 schools in the Boston School District, in their efforts to become healthier places for students to learn and teachers to work.
The newly-launched Web site for Pierce's FitClub34 (a fan club turned "fit" club), The Truth on Health is outfitted with information, resources and tools necessary for youth to get and stay fit. The Alliance provided TruthonHealth.org with a program of nutrition and physical activity intended to complement Pierce's FitClub34 fitness challenges and activities. The Truth on Health features information from the Alliance's empowerME Kids' Movement to help young people create healthy habits for life, including eating fruits and vegetables with every meal, getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day, reducing sugary beverages, cutting down on screen time, and getting at least nine hours of sleep each night.
The Web site also features a rewards-based fitness system designed to track physical activity, but youth throughout the country can also log on to view videos of Pierce in action demonstrating a variety of fun, easy-to-learn exercises, read about the All-Star's personal fitness tips and diet, and learn how to create healthy and delicious meals at home.
About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation joined forces in May of 2005 to create a healthier generation by addressing one of the nation's leading public health threats - childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child's health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor's offices and communities. More information available at www.HealthierGeneration.org.
About FitClub34 from Harvard Pilgrim
FitClub34 from Harvard Pilgrim is a rewards based fan club turned "fit" club that provides children with the information, resources, and tools necessary to become more active and physically fit. Members must make a promise to lead a healthier lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising for one-hour per day. Members receive the Paul Pierce Activity Watch, powered by Switch2Health (S2H), to track their physical activity, receive a rewards code and accrue points to win a number of prizes including an iPod Nano, Nintendo Wii, a Paul Pierce signed jersey, or the chance to meet the All-Star. Anyone around the country can join and participate online. FitClub34 is supported by title sponsor Harvard Pilgrim. Other partners include Comcast, Comcast Sports Net, Mike FM, Liberty Bay Credit Union, CAVU, Tufts Medical Center, USI and the Boston Center for Youth and Families. For more information, visit truthonhealth.org/fitclub34.
About the Truth Fund
The Truth Fund was founded by Boston Celtics co-captain Paul Pierce in May of 2002. It was developed as a means for Paul to streamline all his charitable efforts and make an impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth in the Greater Boston area as well as in his hometown of Inglewood, CA. The Truth Fund provides Paul with a direct reach into communities, enabling him to make a significant impression in the lives of children, not only as a dedicated athlete but also as a role model and citizen. Its newest initiative, the Truth on Health Campaign, is designed to help encourage and inspire young people to lead healthier lifestyles. The Truth Fund is a 501 (c) (3). For more information, visit www.PaulPierce.net.
SOURCE Alliance for a Healthier Generation